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CBN introduces N250 billion stimulus package for gas investment to ease pain of fuel price increase

The CBN has introduced a stimulus package to help stimulate investment in gas as an alternative to fuel.

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As part of the palliative following the sharp increase in the price in the pump price of petrol, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has introduced a N250 billion stimulus package under a National Gas Expansion Programme that it hopes will help stimulate investment in the gas value chain and spur its use in transportation as an alternative to fuel-powered cars.

Large scale projects under this intervention programme will be financed under the Power and Airlines Intervention Fund (PAIF), in line with existing guidelines regulating the PAIF, while small scale operators and retail distributors will be financed by the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank (NMFB) and/or any other Participating Financial Institution (PFI) under the Agribusiness/Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AgSMEIS).

This initiative is to be implemented in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

The objectives of the facility include;

  • Improved access to finance for private sector investments in the domestic gas value chain.
  • Stimulate investments in the development of infrastructure to optimize the domestic gas resources for economic development.
  • Fast track the adoption of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as the fuel of choice for transportation and power generation, as well as Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as the fuel of choice for domestic cooking, transportation, and captive power.
  • Fast track the development of gas-based industries particularly petrochemical (fertilizer, methanol, etc) to support large industries such as agriculture, textile, and related industries.
  • Provide leverage for additional private sector investments in the domestic gas market.
  • Boost employment across the country.

The activities that are eligible under the intervention shall include;

  • Establishment of gas processing plants and small scale petrochemical plants.
  • Establishment of gas cylinder manufacturing plants.
  • Establishment of L-CNG regasification modular systems
  • Establishment of autogas conversion kits or components manufacturing plants.
  • Establishment of CNG primary and secondary compression stations.
  • Establishment and manufacturing of LPG retail skid tanks and refilling equipment.
  • Development/enhancement of autogas transportation systems, conversion, and distribution infrastructure.
  • Enhancement of domestic cylinder production and distribution by cylinder manufacturing plants and LPG wholesale outlets.
  • Establishment/expansion of micro-distribution outlets and service centres for LPG sales, domestic cylinder injection, and exchange and
  • Any other mid to downstream gas value chain related activity recommended by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

The aggregators, manufacturers, processors, wholesale distributors, and related activities shall be funded under the Power and Airline Intervention Fund (PAIF), while the Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) and retail distributors shall be funded by NIRSAL Microfinance Bank under AgSMEIS.

For the manufacturers, processors, wholesale distributors, etc, the term loan shall be determined based on the activity and shall not exceed N10 billion per obligor. The working capital shall be a maximum of N500 million per obligor.

While for the small and medium enterprises, the term loan shall be based on the activity and shall not exceed N50 million per obligor. The working capital shall be a maximum of N5 million per obligor.

Interest Rate

The interest rate under the intervention shall be at not more than 5% per annum (all-inclusive) up to February 28, 2021, thereafter, interest on the facility shall revert to 9% per annum (all-inclusive) with effect from March 1, 2021.

Loan Tenor and Moratorium

The manufacturers, processors, wholesale distributors, will have term loans which shall have a maximum tenor of 10 years (not exceeding December 31, 2030) with a maximum of a 2-year moratorium on principal repayment only. The working capital facility of 1 year with a maximum rollover of not more than twice, subject to prior approval.

The small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and retail distributors will have term loans that shall have a maximum tenor of 5 years (not exceeding December 31, 2030) with a maximum of 2 years on principal repayment only. The working capital facility of 1 year with a maximum rollover of not more than twice and subject to prior approval.

This new initiative involves getting many vehicles to run on gas by collaborating with investors to build the required infrastructure such as pipelines and petrol stations. It is also expected to help accelerate the use of natural gas and end gas flaring.

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ENERGY

BREAKING: It makes no sense for Petrol to be cheaper in Nigeria than Saudi Arabia – President Buhari

Nigeria sells petrol at N161 per litre when the same is sold at higher in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Ghana, Chad, and Republic of Benin.

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The Federal Government has said that it does not make sense for oil to be cheaper in Nigeria than Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Niger Republic and Republic of Benin, other oil-producing nations.

This was disclosed by President Muhammadu Buhari during his Diamond Jubilee Presidential Broadcast to mark the nation’s 60th independence anniversary on Thursday.

He said, “We sell petrol at N161 per litre when same is sold at N168/litre in Saudi Arabia, N211/litre in Egypt, N362/litre in Ghana, N362 in Chad, and N346 in Niger Republic among others.

“It does not make sense for petrol to be cheaper in Nigeria than Saudi Arabia.

Fellow Nigerians, to achieve the great country we desire, we need to solidify our strength, increase our commitment and encourage ourselves to do that which is right and proper even when no one is watching.”

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ENERGY

Buhari reappoints 3 Chief Executives of agencies under Federal Ministry of Petroleum

3 Chief Executive Officers of agencies under the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources have been reappointed.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has renewed the appointment of 3 Chief Executive Officers of parastatals under the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources with immediate effect.

The appointments that were renewed by the president include that of Dr Bello Aliyu Gusau as the Executive Secretary of Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Ahmed Bobboi as the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF) and Simbi Wabote as Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).

The disclosure was made through a series of tweet posts by the presidency on its official Twitter handle on Friday, September 25, 2020.

The statement disclosed that the renewal of the appointments followed recommendations to the President by the Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Timipre Syla.

It stated that Dr Aliyu Gusau was credited to have run the PTDF successfully in the past four years, keeping faith with the Seven Strategic Priorities he had introduced in January 2017.

These are Domestication, Cost cutting, Sustainable funding, Efficient internal processes, Linkages with the industry, Utilization of centres of excellence, and Pursuit of home-grown research.

It also stated that Bobboi got his reappointment for having run PEF in a way that made it a key and strategic player in the administration’s oil and gas reforms, especially in stabilizing the supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country, among others.

Going further, it stated that the NCDMB boss, Wabote, won his pips for managing the NCDMB and completing its headquarters building. Wabote was also credited to have initiated many landmark projects that were widely commended by industry players.

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ENERGY

NNPC signs gas development and commercialization deal with SEEPCO

NNPC and SEEPCO have signed a gas development and commercialization deal.

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The state oil giant, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has signed a gas development deal with Sterling Exploration and Energy Production Company (SEEPCO).

The agreement between the 2 oil firms is for the development and commercialization of gas from Oil Mining Lease (OML) 143 that could help reduce gas flaring in the country.

The disclosure was contained in a press statement that was issued by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of NNPC, Dr Kennie Obateru, on Saturday, September 26, 2020, in Abuja.

According to the statement, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari, while speaking at the agreement-signing ceremony which held at the NNPC Towers, described the execution of the deal as a great milestone as well as a testament to NNPC’s commitment to facilitating the nation’s transformation into a gas-powered economy.

Kyari disclosed that the deal would not only help reduce gas flaring and its environmental hazards but would also promote gas production and utilization in the domestic market.

The NNPC boss also commended SEEPCO for its unwavering commitment to gas development and commercialization in the country which has led to the establishment of a Special Purpose Vehicle that will help expand gas utilization in the country as a cleaner, cheaper and more reliable alternative form of energy.

On his part, the Chairman of SEEPCO, Mr Tony Chukwueke, described the deal as an essential partnership that would help the company fulfil the pledge it made to support the efforts of the Nigerian government to eliminate gas flaring by monetizing it.

He commended NNPC and the Group Managing Director for ensuring the execution of the agreement which he described central to the achievement of the company’s cardinal objective of boosting the production of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), condensate and dry gas for the Nigerian market, adding that the company has invested about $600 million for that purpose.

This is coming at a time when the Federal Government is shifting focus to gas utilization as an alternative source of energy especially with the increase in the retail pump price of petrol. This is one of the various initiatives by the government as represented by the NNPC towards providing alternative sources of energy.

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